Glenn Greenwald’s Headline-Making YearPrinter Friendly Version
Over the past year, Glenn Greenwald ’94 has rocked the world with a series of revelations about the intelligence-gathering practices of the National Security Agency (NSA) and the scope of United States spying abroad.
Greenwald began his career post-graduation as an associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz before hanging his own shingle to litigate US constitutional law and civil rights cases. In 2005, he closed the firm and launched a political blog, Unclaimed Territory, that delved into the unauthorized leak of CIA agent Valerie Plame’s identity as well as the indictment of Scooter Libby. Greenwald became a Salon columnist in 2007, and then a Guardian columnist in 2012.
A look back at 2013–14: Greenwald was the first journalist whom government systems contractor Edward Snowden contacted to share his classified NSA documents. Beginning in June 2013, Greenwald and his colleagues at the Guardian revealed the magnitude of the NSA’s metadata collection, uncovered the NSA’s PRISM program, and exposed the extent to which the US spies on foreign leaders, among other revelations.
February 2014 marked the debut of the Intercept, an online magazine funded with $250 million from eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and edited by Greenwald and his journalist-partners, Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill. “Our central mission is to hold the most powerful governmental and corporate factions accountable,” they wrote in their debut post.
That same month, Greenwald, with Poitras and Ewen MacAskill of the Guardian and Barton Gellman of the Washington Post, received Long Island University’s George Polk Award for national security reporting.
In April 2014, the Pulitzer Prize for public service was awarded to the Washington Post and the Guardian in recognition of their reporting on the NSA. The prize committee praised the Guardian’s team—led by reporters Greenwald, MacAskill, and Poitras—for “helping through aggressive reporting to spark a debate about the relationship between the government and the public over issues of security and privacy.”
Greenwald published No Place to Hide in May 2014. An account of Greenwald’s first meeting with Snowden and his subsequent work reporting on the NSA disclosures, Greenwald’s fifth and latest book quickly hit the New York Times bestseller list. Before long,
Sony Pictures announced it had acquired the film rights, too.